Sunday, December 27, 2015

Gladys Knight and the Pips! - Not a funk band. Not a rock band. Just a group with A LOT of soul and talented family members

 The smooth moves. The perfect harmonies. The sartorial elegance. That was Gladys Knight and the Pips! This group has, had been active since 1953 through 1989, when they broke up to do separate projects. Founded in Atlanta, Georgia, they found success with Motown and Buddah record labels with the hits I Heard It through the Grapevine, Midnight Train to Georgia. The group comprised Gladys Knight, her brother Merald and their cousins Edward Patten and William Guest. Legal problems with the Buddah record label forced the group to make music apart for awhile, but they did reunite to make more smash hits like Save the Overtime for Me. By the time they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, they were known successes on their own now. Disbanding in 1989 because Ms. Knight wanted to go solo, they did remain close. As with all great triumphs, great sadness is never far behind. In 2005, Edward Patten died from complications due to diabetes at 65; on December 24th, 2015, William Guest passed from heart failure at 74. Gladys and her brother continue to make wonderful music. Ms. Knight's latest appearance in my area was with the O-Jays at the Academy of Music back in November.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

O-O-O! It's Christmas!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! HAPPY FESTIVUS! HAPPY KWANZAA!  HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE! Phew! I think I got most of it. I know. I know. I missed HANNUKAH. My bad. In any case, TIS THE SEASON to celebrate something. Me? Grateful to have seen another year and to have put out two books. Two more coming in 2016! I am a busy girl!

Playing any Christmas music while you cook, shop or chill? I love the classiics. Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Sinatra, Ella., Streisand. For some reason my fav Xmas album this year is STARBRIGHT by Vanessa Williams. I'd forgotten that this woman can sing. The arrangements on that Xmas album are absolutely gorgeous. No wonder she won the Talent portion of the Miss America pageant that year. (I think). LOL.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd post some pictures of the season. A mix of what people live for at this time of year. Hope I hit the major ones. And again, do have a merry something!

Friday, December 18, 2015

BREAKWATER! - My favorite hometown band

BREAKWATER! No lie. This is my favorite funk band from my hometown. Founded in Philadelphia, PA, back in 1971 they have been going strong ever since. Their music and the music of my all time, number one favorite band, EARTH, WIND AND FIRE are the tunes that get turned up on my radios (yes, I own a few of those dinosaurs) when they come on and I do not care who gets pissed about it. I won't hear you anyway! Love, love, love their sound. Their top songs in my mind? Say You Love Me Girl, Splashdown Time and Release the Beast. Put on a Breakwater tune and it's a '78 summer in Philly on the Plateau and the aroma of a cook-out is calling or it's blue- light-in-the-basement sort of party, that guy you liked has asked you to dance and all is right with the world. Aah, yeah, Breakwater.



Enjoy the sound of Philadelphia!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Martha Settle Putney - One of the first African American women to join the Women's Army Corps (WACs)

From my home state, this lady did her duty, got out and went on to become an historian and an author. Not sure but I believe there is no separate unit now for women. I believe they are commissioned into the regular Army now.

Like the Navy. Different sides of the same coin.

This fact is right up my alley because my aunt was one of many Black WAVEs in the U. S. Navy (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). She made it her career, establishing herself as a Drill Instructor. She made many a recruit scrub a toilet with a tooth brush. You did not mess with my Aunt Joanie. Trust and believe. She retired after giving 20 years of service.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sarah Rector, Creek Freedwoman, her land title claims in Oklahoma that made her the richest little girl in the USA at that time and the "circus" that trailed her all her life

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Sharks come when they smell blood in the water; money grubbers fall out of the sky (or woodwork) at the mention of a coin. This little girl weathered ish that was beyond believable because she came into money from supposedly worthless land that was granted to her family but later was found to have oil reserves.

info courtesy of african-nativeamerican blogspot

Friday, December 4, 2015

The One World Doll Project - Started by a father out of love for his daughters

I like this concept a lot. Funny thing is my mom and uncles and aunts went out of their way decades ago to locate baby dolls and fashion dolls who looked like me. And they ALWAYS found them. I had the most beautiful Black baby dolls and fashion dolls in my neck of the woods. Where did they get them? Well my first one was bought from a small, Black-owned and operated, Mom & Pop store in my South Philly neighborhood on South Street. This couple had anything and everything that was hard to get. They had connections. Ask them, they'd get it. Might take a bit but they'd get it. That's why Xmas requests had to be put in EARLY!

The next place to look was NEW YORK CITY! You could then get ANYTHING pertaining to Black folks in the Black owned stores in NYC. You had to look, or ask and then order right away! Don't know what happened between the Boomer Generation and the kids coming up after the Millennials but they seem a tad lost about how to go about getting stuff. But then again if these dolls were sold by APPLE and came with Wi-fi, they'd be all over it and would stand in line over night to get one.

Dolls of ALL ethnicities are in is line. Hence the name.

At any rate, this genuine genius of a good father, Houston businessman ,Trent Daniels fulfilled his little girls desire and that of thousands of other little girls around the globe with the ONE WORLD DOLL PROJECT line. Currently available at HEB stores and Walmart, he will be expanding into Target and Toy R Us in 2016.  Read more about it. Then go buy a freakin' doll or two.

info courtesy of

Thursday, December 3, 2015

EMPIRE - Season 2 finale was so delicious!

Well, EMPIRE, (my guilty pleasure) had it season 2 finale last night and Lucious (Terrence Howard) stole the show for a change.  It's usually Cookie's (Taraji P. Henson) platform but I give Mr. Howard his props, he owned it last night. Just when you think Lucious can't get any more creepy, he does. Last season's cliffhanger ended with Mr. Lyon going to the joint after being betrayed by two of his sons. Cookie was left in charge but got voted out of the company by Lucious by remote control from his PRISON CELL! How's that for technology?

And that's where this season started. Cookie has started her own record label with the youngest son and is trying to pull in more acts. Lucious, her ex, has been putting roadblocks in her way all the way. Everyone is screwing everyone, literally, figuratively and financially. Big name music stars dropped in and out. A key character went bonkers; another is probably gonna miscarry and/or die due to a jealous person. Oh and I adore Lucious' lawyer Thirsty. He is a scream. Personally, I could have done without the Alicia Keyes storyline. She was plopped into the last few episodes to show that Jamal is sexually fluid? Because he broke up with his boyfriend, y'all had to stick a chick in there? Why not have him take a breather and get his act together on his own? Please. Really. Just have him sing and keep it movin.' It also gave Lucious the chance to grin and be proud of his "boy" 'cuz he "hit it'" with a girl. Oy.  That aside, it was a good episode with Lucious on the ropes at the end, losing his company because his pissant brat of a boy-child son of his, Hakeem, voted against his father. I think this is the second time this kid shivved his father. All I know is Cookie will not stand for her ex being disrespected by anyone. She likes to do that herself. Hakeem, Hakem, Hakeem. Your ass is grass.

EMPIRE and la famille Lyon returns to FOX March 2016

Thursday, November 26, 2015

My Thanksgiving message for all

This wonderful, soulful song is my message to all who visit this blog this day or any other. Whether or not you celebrate Thanksgiving day, hate this day or could not careless about this day...BE THANKFUL! JUST BE THANKFUL! Now let me let Curtis Mayfield explain it better. With stupendous lyrics from William DeVaughn. Take it away gentlemen!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Sly and the Family Stone's trumpeter Cynthia Robinson

Another first gone and underappreciated: Cynthia Robinson. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and trumpeter for Sly and the Family Stone. She also played in Graham Central Station with its founder, Larry Graham. (Wanna hear a great song? Listen to The Jam by that group. I dare ya to sit still) I do not like this one bit. The music makers of my childhood are checking out fast. Oh well. At least I heard them in their prime. I can hear her blowing now on "Dance to the Music." Do it, Cyn!

info courtesy of

Saturday, November 21, 2015

How the McBride sisters found each other and started a wine business - Truvee Wines

Robin and Andrea McBride are sisters who never knew the other existed until 11 years ago. After finding one another they got together, discovered that that shared a love for wine and as they say, the rest is history. TRUVEE WINES was born. I'm looking for this brand this season and I'm not even a wine drinker!

info courtesy - Black America Web
photo credit -

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Allen Toussaint - Master of music

Allen Toussaint was a jack-of-all-trades in the music industry. If you've heard any song in popular music, I'm sure his mark is on it. Honored in his 77th year at the White House for his musical genius, an inductee into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters' Hall of Fame, the R and B performer passed this November 10th. Thank goodness someone had the presence of mind to heap rewards on him for his accomplishments while he was living. Thank you, Mr. Toussaint for your talent.

photo credit -
article courtesy of -

Sunday, November 8, 2015

A smidgen of snark, a splash of tea and more non-White romance authors writing their takes on the "other's"romantic life

This week's installment of non-White romance writers has 8 who mix it up well.

G. A. Aiken/Shelley Laurenston - I call this successful author a "double agent." She beat the odds doing it her way..

Aliyah Burke - contemporaries with witty dialogue, strong plots. Her latest "Code Name: Papa" is a tension-filled, hilarious spy thriller.

Ambrielle Kirk - erotic romance, paranormal, fantasy

Camille Leone - contemporaries showcasing little written on romantic alliances

Jeannie Lin - pens lush, historical tales set in Tang Dynasty China and a Steampunk series set during the Opium Wars. I applaud her covers. They SHOW the lovers and their ethnicities. Not some vague object or neutral landscape.

Billie London - contemporaries with a take on love in a country not America. I love her covers too.

Pepper Pace - contemporaries with main characters who might be homeless, have mental illness or physical challenges.

Now about that snark and tea...

This goes out to those reviewers/bloggers who look upon reviewing historical romances written by non-White authors as "problematic." Why? Is it that your mindset is so firmly entrenched in those tired-assed time periods that have become wallpaper in your consciousness? Have you gotten so comfy with those eras that showcase the same old, tired characters that you can't stretch your minds to include other periods that include "other" people living in those periods? Again as in contemporary romance, you seem to have no problem whatsoever with accepting the existence of m/m pairings in historical romance. You devour and applaud and comment glowingly on an author's effort to depict a love affair not like the ones to which you are accustomed.

So where is the disconnect when the pairing is hetero and non-White? Why must you "caution" readers that you "don't know how accurate the history is" in this kind of historical romance? Is it because you are lacking in your world view? Is it because you/your followers don't believe "others" existed in all facets of life, and were living it, before, during and after enslavement or colonization? That's mightily insulting because it means that if these types of people aren't presented to the reading public and/or validated by "reliable sources" (i. e. mainstream writers), they didn't exist and hence don't warrant page time or consideration. And Lord knows you can't rely on that non-White romance author to "get it right." Amirite?

I see the mediocre reviews these wonderfully different books get if the books are penned by a non-White author. If they get reviewed at all. The reviews are terribly dismissive. They scoff at real circumstances related in the books as "implausible." How? It's HISTORY! Why? Because you can't fathom them having occurred? Because you are narrow in your scope as a reviewer? Sad. From that point onward (or downward ) the book in review gets picked apart. Scrutinized ad nauseum due to the reviewer's lack of perspective. Things are questioned that are taken as Gospel in mainstream historical romances.

I admired one reviewer and gave her a pass when she reviewed my historical, KINDRED, and stated that she couldn't vouch for the accuracy of the history. She's a reviewer born and living in the PHILIPPINES! I didn't expect her to know American history but being the gracious person she is, she admitted she couldn't vouch for the history because SHE wasn't well-versed in it. Not because she didn't believe I knew my subject matter. I thank her for using common sense.

I will not point out names. I'll stick to my stuff. In my Swirl Awards-winning historical romance KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY set in colonial America, I received reviews out of the blue that I didn't ask for. First of all, I know that how a book is going to be received is out of my hands once the book is released to the world but I really wonder sometimes what y'all are on. Maybe folk like the crazy-assed, WTF moments in romance that are supposed to make it endearing. Me, I find them annoying and not how real people communicate but the public loves 'em. Insert note here. I DON'T WRITE 'EM. You want WTF moments, look elsewhere. Now these unsolicited reviews had dissenting opinions. Fine. No problem. Have an opinion. But have one that makes sense. Number one said there was too much history in the story. I repeat. The woman complained that a HISTORICAL ROMANCE had too much HISTORY in it. I'm done. I got nothing. Reviewer number two said it was melodramatic. My books are many things but they ain't melodramatic. Ok. So this person reviews ROMANCE. I said ROMANCE! If there ever was a genre that is the epitome of melodrama, it's romance. But she picked out my book as guilty? This time I got one word.


And the ish keeps coming!

How could I forget this gem? The Gullah speech that the grandmother character speaks in my historical is REAL. It is a bona fide dialect of American English spoken in the Low Country of the USA.. Hell, my father spoke it and all his family,


But one uninformed soul/reviewer deemed it my "attempt at writing quaint uneducated tongue." She totally ignored or dismissed that there was both a glossary and a bibliography at the end of the book because she wanted to make her statement. See why we need more than the same, clueless types of people in romance publishing/reviewing/critiquing calling the shots? The ignorance/snobbery knows no bounds. Not a one of those broads took into account that I had to do TWICE the effin' research to write the effin' book. That's right. TWICE! I had to research the timeline of the White characters' world and the timeline of the non-White characters' world to see where the two intersected. I have DNF'ed many a "book" by a White writer of diverse historicals due to their LACK of history. Period. And what kills is the pass and/or praise they get for "tackling a big void in historical romance." Excuse me while I puke! I found not a bit of history in any of those books. Just people of different hues going at it for over 200 pages in funny clothes speaking 21st century jargon. Titillation over information. No non-White writer writing an honest, thorough, historical romance where the players are non-White is pulling it out of their asses! We do actual research and do it until we go cross-eyed.

The old "You gotta be twice as good to get half as much attention."

But don't take my word for it. You are the "experts." Yeah, right.

Class dismissed.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

This week's throwback band? THE TRAMMPS!

then...peep the magnificence of those open-inverted-pleat flares. can't beat the 70s.

now...the lead singer, Jimmy Ellis is gone but the band is still fly

THE TRAMMPS! That disco/funk/soul band from my hometown. Philly in da house! Famous for some of the most driving music from the "Saturday Night Fever" soundtrack, this group was composed of lots of hold-overs from MFSB (Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers) based in Philadelphia. Blessed with the "Philly Sound," their music is recognizable, starting with their version of  Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart to Where Do We go from Here to Hold Back the Night to their biggie Disco Inferno. As hometown boys who made good, they hold a place in my heart. Plus, when I spin their albums (yes, I said ALBUMS), I'm back in my old bedroom getting ready to hit The Library in my best burgundy Qiana bodysuit and matching circle skirt. Let us not forget the mid-heel, beige, leather pumps because I do not care how stylish they were I could not do sky-scraper Candies to save my life!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Black female film directors or Yes,Virginia, Ava Duvernay is not a unicorn

Before the director of Middle of Nowhere and Selma hit the public's retinas, there was Julie Dash, Kasi Lemmons and Darnell Martin. These ladies helmed some excellent films, have withstood the Hollywood trifecta of sexism, racism and cronyism (plus I'm sure they've been told to make stuff "Blacker" or asked, "I know the scene takes place at a child's birthday party but why can't the heroine be naked anyway?") and are still in the business. Probably overlooked time and again for a gig because some bigwig's nephew just graduated film school and is dying to make another buddy flick, with his grade-school friend's script no less, which includes zombies and topless dancers. You get the picture. Sad thing is, it probably is being made while I type this. Anyhoo, I love all the films by these ladies.

Look for their work on Hulu or Netflix.

Kasi Lemmons - Eve's Bayou

Julie Dash - Daughters of the Dust (a movie of such magical cinematography; plus it depicts Gullah life at the turn of the century so beautifully

Darnell Martin - I Like It Like That

Kasi Lemmons (also as an actress she played Clarice Starling's BFF in "Silence of the Lambs)

Julie Dash

Darnell Martin

Ava Duvernay

Friday, October 30, 2015


I WON TWO SWIRL AWARDS! Best historical romance for my historical romance KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY and 2nd runner up for PARADOX, the 4th book in my paranormal series in the SF/F category. It's been a good week!

The SWIRL AWARDS - Recognizes excellence in romance written without color barriers

An adorable moment of bonding between a father and child!

First of all, I loathe World Star Hip Hop. LOATHE IT! It is not on my list of things to care about. Ever. Just not my speed. But even a broke clock is right twice a day. I was emailed the link to this piece of heaven by a friend. So this video just might be the ONLY thing of worth and beauty on that ratchet-assed site.

I dare you! I double dog dare you to NOT find this friggin' adorable! This man has given his daughter a lovely memory, a lovely gift. Singing Erykah Badu's Bag Lady in the car with Daddy - Priceless! And Babygirl got skillz!

credit -

More non-White romance authors writing the "others" experience

Yes. I know some folks will get their panties in a twist because I chose to title my post the way I did. But you know what? People in Hell want ice water too. So just like making sure everyone and their mother who writes a romance book is included and making sure everyone has a cool refreshment in Hades...Neither are in my pay grade! Anyhoo, let's get this party started with this continuing service. Today's list is a mix of Old School and New School.

Nikki Woolfolk - writes Steampunk with non-White main characters that are not straight. Nikki's books are filled with recipes and chocolate desserts too. See the links below for more on all that is offered at the website and the eShop.

Kim Golden - contemporary with a European flare
Xio Axelrod - writer of contemporaries
Holley Trent - contemporary and paranormal
Delaney Diamond - writes sweet and sensual romances
Brenda Jackson - prolific author of the Texas Westmoreland series and much more
Francis Ray -  the late writer from Texas; a contemporary of  Beverley Jenkins and Rochelle Alers
Rochelle Alers - a regular of contemporaries on the romance scene
Farrah Rochon - a Harlequin Kimani author with many titles to her name in several genres
LaShawn Vasser -  contemporary
Eve Vaughn - contemporary/alternate worlds; hot and edgy
Raven St. Pierre - hot contemporaries with emotion-filled plots

That's it for this week. More to come...

Friday, October 23, 2015

The diversity in romance publishing push? Please. I'm so over that boondoggle




I'm going to be frank, blunt and upfront. I'm tired of this campaign. This campaign to coax skittish mainstream readers to read a romance where the couple falling for one another DOES NOT MIRROR the relationships in the other romance books they usually BUY and READ and DISCUSS. So over this campaign to nowhere. The only romance books with "diverse" couples that are doing booming business are m/m romances. Blog after blog, Review after review. Mainstreamers seem to adore reading about two ripped, hot men going at it. Make it as cliched as possible and it flies off the virtual shelves. Good for the writers. Follow your dream! Make that bank!

Now the 800 lb. elephant in the room is the still stagnate sales of "diverse" romance penned by non-White authors, that feature a HEROINE who DOES NOT possess the characteristics of the average, mainstream reader. And you know what characteristics I'm talking about and you know what the mainstream looks like. And this is where the conditioning creeps in. Take a breath. Stay with me. Buckle that seat belt. Might get bumpy but it's gotta be said.

Non-White romance book heroines are tolerated if they skew Caucasian. Let me say that again. Non-White romance heroines are tolerated and sell a little better if the writer "writes" her Caucasian. Also if the writer writes this chick in the vaguest terms possible. Meaning? If a writer leaves out any, or all references, to experiences or things that would place the heroine firmly in the camp of the "other." That colorblind bull shyte that is anything but.  Supposedly a reader needs to identify with the heroine, use her as a placeholder when immersed in the book. Really? So the mention of a twist-out or a samosa or a phrase from someone else's mother tongue takes you out of the story? In this age of Google? Get away from me with that lie. I'm not tryin' to hear that. With the success of m/m romance, you ladies must be leading double lives or got big secrets because the booming m/m romance genre features DUDES getting it on! You can relate to that greatly because the cash register ain't never lied!

So what I'm picking up from industry insiders is, a "diverse" heroine sells more if she isn't perceived as "diverse." And if she's a dude, all the better! As for the differently-abled of any hue or sexual orientation, depictions of those characters do well too.

It's just those pesky Marias and Whitneys, and Jades and Priyankas with all their "foreign" features, getting the guy, or girl, or both, in the end who fall flat specifically those written by writers who resemble them. That kills me too because books with dinos and T-Rexs and inanimate objects as love interests sell like hotcakes. Anything but the non-White female, written by the non-White author, as someone's object of affection, sells? Is reading about the non-White chick, written by a non-White author, getting her HEA so abhorrent? So unbelievable?


So either the mainstream reader is plain just not interested? Or biased? Or both? And/or the industry is lying on their readers. I think it's all of the above.

 So the utter failure of  any breakout new authors of the diverse from the diverse is...sad. Why? Because the traditional romance publishing industry is doing what all good businesses do when demands are made of them. 1) present a facade featuring a handful of authors as shining examples of writing "diversely." Attention! Some of those writers are non-White; most are White. Read the label. 2) string along the outsiders railing against these businesses' hallowed halls by paying lip service to the issue with a flurry of "diversity panels or workshops."

Yeah. A panel will fix it 'cuz we are all a monolith. *facepalm*

Please. And these workshops are for whom? They are not for my benefit or anyone who looks like me. They are for the benefit of writers who live in a plastic bubble who never come in contact with the "other" and therefore need some generic blueprint or shorthand on how to scribble a character not like them. My advice: Get a diverse life.

My remedy? For the mainstream reader who truly is looking for solid romance heroines who aren't all slim, flaxen-haired, green-eyed, eighteen and lily-white of skin presented by writers who possess none of those traits either, I'm dropping a list of non-White romance writers below.

Pardon me if I exclude Octavia Butler and Beverly Jenkins. Most mainstream readers know of these terrific women. In fact, they are probably the ONLY ones they know. The following list encompasses all genres: paranormal, historical, erotic romance, erotica, contemporary, SF/F, etc. The list below should fill all your romance needs. The aforementioned areas are genres.


And that's why I'm sooooo over the little diversity campaign that couldn't. I write romance. Period. It's got a mix of people caring for, loving, hating and pining for one another. Like people in any other romance book. You looking for what I have to offer? You know where to find me. And not in the wasteland of multicultural. Remember an author's name. You can do that, can't you? If their style speaks to you, you'll like all their other stuff. You'll find some of what you are searching for on the following list. And remember Regency England wasn't all dukes and earls. Somebody had to clean the manse and polish the silver. And the help wasn't all White either. Just sayin.


Lavender Parker
Harper Miller
Seressia Glass
Piper Huguley
Suleikha Snyder
Sharon Cullars
Rebekah Weatherspoon
Lyn Brittan
Vanessa Riley
Alisha Rai
Echo Ishii

That's just a partial list. More coming.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

CON FUNK SHUN! Our Throwback band of the day!

By now you know I have an unabashed love for the many membered, r-n-b groups of the 70s and 80s. They were the soundtrack of my coming  of age. Those groups with 15 guys (or gals), a strong horn section, a bad bass player and a relentless drummer. Loved them all. Best dance music ever. They declined as time marched on and the economy worsened. Staging, maintaining and hosting these bands took a ton of money. A lot. The 80s took their toll on these acts. Concert-goers stopped attending shows because their money was tight due to the recession. Insufficient ticket sales needed to fill a venue, coupled with major upkeep and the expense of being on the road shut down these bands. They might re-group for special dates but the days of long tours are done. With the push for solo acts, the homogenization of the R-n-B market, the popularity of rap/hip-hop and the trend in NOT spending ANY cash on the creative arts (yes, you freebie folks!), big acts like funk groups petered out. Funk is a lost art.

Anyhoo, today's Throwback band is CON FUNK SHUN. Cross James Brown with sly and the Family Stone and you got their sound. My absolute favorite song by them? FFUN.
Peruse the photos.

See more at


now with some younger stand-ins

Friday, October 16, 2015

Arrrrrrrrrrrgh! What part of "nonconsensual" do you folk not understand when dealing with problematic historical romance tales, uh?

Before I have a conniption, let me air this ish. First off, I'm gonna get territorial or generational or FFS. Plain mad.

Just left my weekly trolling of Twitter (that place where logic goes to die but with hipster panache). The droppings of the day are spinning around an ebook called The Garconniere (sorry about the missing diacritical mark under the "c.") Described on Goodreads as "beautifully written" "eloquent."  It's a 142 page "romance" (re: steaming dump of poo) about a male slave on a Southern plantation and his master's young family relation having a benign love affair against the backdrop of blooming magnolias and night jasmine. Barf bag, anyone? Anyway, raised together, the White guy has always had this symbiotic relationship with the young slave. Because owners leaned on their purchases for everything. I call it leeching the life outta the guy but, hey, I'm being an insensitive soul 'cuz slave holders had feelings too and the highest regard for their "things."


What is with this obsession with writing slave/master romances set in the plantation U. S. South? What is the allure? What is this need to spin the narrative to depict a "happy ending?"

In the vein of that trainwreck, For Such a Time by Frau Kate Breslin, the courtesy has been extended to the African-American and gay communities with this "beautifully written" POS. Two fantasies for the price of one! Forbidden IR and dudes! Oh yummy! (My head's about to explode)

No! No! What effin part of non consensual doesn't register with these scribbling broads? Property has no room for consent. If you are owned, you do what the guy who owns you says! Love affair. Yeah right. I hear Hitler loved his dog too. Didn't stop him from exterminating people.

I am as appalled at the readers of this book that gave it glowing reviews as I am at the author.

Am I being closed-mined? Yes. Like I've said before, these "writers" can scrawl whatever they want. But they should be prepared to face the music if the topic reeks. And this topic reeks because the actions of real slave owners of centuries past STILL reverberate down through the years. And the results have been devastating to a people only seen as good for free labor and easy sex, sexual assault, rape. And male slaves were raped with as much regularity as the female ones. It was all about exerting power over a human being sexually. No roses. No gumdrops. No seductions.

So, no. I'm not down with revisionist history or this sickening revisionist "romance" where the need for the hero's absolution/redemption  trumps the real, nasty business of what was happening and what he was doing. No matter how prettily it's concocted.

Seems like the aftershocks of slavery have buried themselves deep in White romance authors' psyche because every other week there is a White romance author trotting out variations of this tired trope. And then they get pissy about it when folk side-eye it. Why? You gotta know making a person who owns other persons or is making life miserable for others, the "hero" in a romance, and then making him palatable is a challenge. And you with your limited view of the world little, ole you are gonna make this creature redeemable. Maybe you know mainstream readers love a redemption arc. What better one than a SLAVE OWNER who loves his chattel. Because some bridge club member in Peoria, who is as equally limited in life experiences, will remark, "Look, Marge. He loves that boy.  I knew it wasn't as bad as they said it was. Some masters were kind sweethearts!" UGH!

These "books" are for readers who, I swear, deep down feel that the Plantation South was just one big lawn party full of bottomless mint juleps and happy darkies. And if a White writer depicts it that way, it's gotta be true. Amirite? The same folks, I swear, live in LaLaLand and cling to crinolines and the obvious hope that consuming this stuff is somehow cathartic for them. Because if they can like a monster of a hero (and yes. slave owners were monsters. no way around that fact. check the history), hey, how can he be that bad?  I could be wrong but it's just waaay too much of this "creative ish" popping off nowadays to be co-incidental.

Don't even get me started on the idiotic backlash that rises up when these forays into "literature" are criticized for making misery entertaining.

Just a thought. UGH, again! In the meantime, I need a shower after this doosy.

Ps check out the mix of reviews at Goodreads

The mighty Bar-Kays!

To end the week on a sweet note...A blast from my kid past! The mighty Bar-Kays!  This group from Memphis, Tennessee hit the music scene in 1966 and ran through a roster of over 20 members during its run. They started as the backup band for the late, great Otis Redding, a connection that would continue until Redding would die, along with 4 other Bar-Kay members and the pilot, in a plane crash winging home from a flurry of gigs. One Bar-Kay member (Ben Cauley) on board at the time survived, and Mr. Cauley passed this past September 24th, 2015 at the age of 67. Some hits: Soul Finger, Boogie Body Land, Son of Shaft. 

Oh, yes. Summer in the city. Lunchtime circa 1970. School is out. A cherry water ice. A soft pretzel. A Bar-Kays tune blaring in the background from my trusty transistor radio while I sat on the stoop playing jacks with friends.

Peep the modified Thulsa Doom haircut in the back row. And the bare-chested fashion trend. The 70s! Don't cha love 'em? I did and do.

now, a few new members added, word. talk about OGs with 'tude.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ta-da! I made a list sponsored by Barnes & Noble naming 20 books that blend Sci-Fi and romance!

Here is the link to the B&N article that list 20 books with a mix of Sci-fi and romance. And the lead-in book to my paranormal/Sci-fi series made the freakin' cut! I'm honored. I'm gonna break a rule and go pig out on organic gummie bears in celebration. Yes, I am. Go check it out.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Alyce Dixon - America's oldest living female WWII veteran (WAC) turned 108 years old last month!

Love that dress and the sheer elegance of the subject! Ms. Dixon was one of the first civilians to work at the Pentagon. Changing careers mid-stream, she decided to join the Women's Army Corp at the age of 31 as postal support, ensuring all that correspondence traveling back and forth between armed forces' members stationed abroad and their families during WWII reached its destination. She was feted by the President and Mrs. Obama on her special day.

info courtesy of

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Grace Lee Boggs, the sistah from another mother who knew the score

Activist Grace Lee Boggs

Grace and her husband James

Civil Rights activist, community activist, environmentalist and supporter of causes ameliorating the human condition has died at 100 years of age in her Detroit home. Born in Providence, Rhode Island, above the restaurant that her father, Chin Lee, owned and to Yin Lan Lee, his second wife, a feminist role model for the young Grace. A contemporary of Malcolm X, she failed in persuading him in running for the U. S. Senate.  An outlier, a dreamer, a warrior. She was a force.
Grace Lee Boggs June 27, 1915 - October 5, 2015

Learn more about Mrs. Boggs at

Monday, October 5, 2015

Musings on Mars movies, Black IT and outer space

So, The Martian ruled the box office this weekend in the States. Matt Damon made it back from Mars with the help of Black IT. Not the Black Eyed Peas. I said Black IT. Donald Glover and Chiwetel Ejiofor brought the stranded, left for dead Damon back to Earth. and their Latino colleague drew up a plan that Damom could use to rig a ride together. Diversity! Let us now practice this IRL. I hope that inspired little Black/Brown kids to realize that there are other ways to succeed besides being a rapper or being a baller. Or an actor. Diversity in STEM is needed. And examples need to be seen in media and in real life. Okay, I'm stepping off the soapbox now. The space adventure made 65 million smackeroos. Good. There were two other Mars movies in the last 15 years that I liked but they died at the box office like a real human would if left on Mars. Red Planet and Mission to Mars were pretty good flicks. Both came out in 2000, November and March respectively. I liked the chemistry between Val Kilmer's and Carrie-Ann Moss's characters (and it had hefty pieces of eye-candy too - Benjamin Bratt and Simon Baker and Tom Sizemore and eye candy of old, Terence stamp) and the plot to this day when I watch it, still has me on the edge of my seat. The second film had Gary Sinese, Tim Robbins, Connie Nielsen, Don Cheadle, Kim Delaney and Jerry O'Connell and has them stranded on the red rock while yet another team on the ground rushes around trying to save them. I like outer space. From afar. I like wide  open spaces but this girl ain't the Manifest Destiny type. So, for those who are adventurous or tired of Earth or plain opportunist, be my guest. Sign up for those rocket rides. I'll stay here. Besides, when dealing with a beautiful landscape, it's always much better to stand back from it then to stomp all around it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The 90th anniversary of the Schomburg Center in Harlem

The Schomburg Center was born of one man's desire to gather information to chronicle achievement of the African diaspora. Something that was hard for many to believe almost a hundred years ago (Hell. That's a stretch for some cretins now) as it was thought back then that Blacks had no history, and therefore definitely had no accomplishments to speak about. Born in Puerto Rico of a Black mother from St. Croix and a German businessman father, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg was a record keeper and notable of the Harlem Renaissance. Now under the supervision of Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the center marks its 90th anniversary of Schomburg's dream.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Presenting The Crusaders!

Some people wonder why I post on dead folks a lot. Why? Because the people I post about were NEVER given their rightly, copious praises when alive. The men and women in the arts and/or sciences who are not "pop culture" popular rarely get the accolades they deserve. Oh shut up! I can hear some of you moaning from here! For every Mrs. Carter or Ms. Minaj, there is an equally or more talented performer who will not get their due while living. Especially if they are sharing the same myopic space as the type of performers I've mentioned. These ignored innovators rarely get their proper due. No induction into halls of fame. No endorsement contracts for hair color or make up. What they usually get is their music used for commer-shills for hamburgers and cars and phones, etc. And pretty way under what the "Pop" gods/goddesses get. I present the latest in lost genius. The Crusaders. That r-n-b group from the 60s and 70s who also played soul, funk and and jazz!

Formed in Houston, TX in the early 60s, the group held court on the music scene from 1961-2014 in different incarnations. Its 6 members, Stix Hooper, Larry Carlton, Robert Popwell, Wayne Henderson, Joe Sample and Wilton Felder started as the Jazz Crusaders. The band disbanded off and on and finally broke up with the deaths of Henderson and Sample last year within months of each other. Wilton Felder died on September 27th of this year, The remaining members have gone their separate ways.So unless the group reconstitutes in some other form (like "Sons of the Crusaders"), we will not be hearing any more performances unless you got them on vinyl or CD or iTunes.

But do give them a listen. They were/are good.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sexy Today - @MySexySaturday #MySexySaturday #Saturday7 #MSSAuthors #MSS111

Seven paragraphs or seven lines or seven words of sexy. That's all that is needed for this blog hop. I chose seven paragraphs from one of my latest books.

Enjoy my excerpt and then please visit all the other authors in this hop at this link:

Check out Author Central too for more info on 100th Blog Anniversary Bash being held on Facebook over the weekend.

This week's excerpt is free-range, random and from my latest KINDRED, AN AMERICAN LOVE STORY, a historical set in colonial New York state. My characters are very special. Educated, free, articulate minorities raised in a time when they were seen fit for only cleaning houses, cooking, laboring for others or simply ignored. African-American Kindred and Oneida Native Lelaheo have been brought up by a forward-thinking physician to believe they can achieve anything. On the eve of Lelaheo's leaving for medical school in Europe, he comes to Kindred to settle a matter which has been hanging between them like a fog.

The household was partially silent. Only the ticking of the hall clock and Dr. Twain’s snoring competed for her attention. Once in her own room, she sagged wearily against the door, removed her head wrap and shoved it in an apron pocket. She did not like how Rozina was becoming listless by day’s end now. She did not like how her granny was tired all the time and rested more. It scared her. The land’s unending discord, Lelaheo’s leaving just as they were coming together…life as she had come to know it was changing. What once had been challenging was now just draining. She pushed off the door, untied and removed her apron and stripped down to her shift. She yawned and stretched, her toned, slender body, framed in beautiful profile, in the moonlight. As she undid her braids, she recited aloud, “Please, Lord. No more days like this one. And if you do have more, give me strength to get through them.”

“Kindred, never think that you have to shoulder burdens alone.”

Startled, Kindred grabbed up her dress. She had gotten to her room without a lamp and had not lit one when she’d entered it, knowing its layout by heart. “Lelaheo!” She sucked in air loudly. “You scared the hell out of me.”

“We need to talk in depth about our situation.” He sat in the dark, in the ladder-back rocker by the window. He reached over to turn up the oil lamp. Light filled the room, illuminating all within. He rose and walked toward her. She withdrew, the doorknob hitting her in the small of the back.

“Please, Lelaheo.” She held out her arm to stop his advance. “Please leave. We should not be alone together like this.”

Lelaheo pulled the dress from her grasp. He pried her from the door and swept her into his embrace. At their contact, Kindred inhaled abruptly. Caught in his arms, clad only in her shift, she felt both vulnerable and enticing. His ample hands traveled over her, slowly, deliberately. A sudden surge of excitement coursed through her.

“Why not? My intentions are honorable.” He dropped his head down next to hers and nuzzled her ear. He closed his eyes and gave himself over to the tactile. His fingers slowly peeled the straps of her shift from her shoulders, then traced their curvature and the toned muscles of her arms. His hands claimed her waist next, testing how it flowed into nicely curved hips. They both shuddered.

Want more? Feed that questing mind at Amazon OR at Devine Destinies  OR at BN